Gov Bala Loads Over N269b Debt On Bauchi People, Says Elder Statesman, Kirfi

By Khalid Idris Doya

Elder Statesman and Nigerian former minister, Alhaji Muhammad Bello Kirfi has expressed regret that Bauchi is now the fifth indebted state in the country.

He gave the state external debt to the tune of $172.76 million and a domestic debt of N144.28 billion, saying the indebtedness of Bauchi comes after Lagos, Kaduna, Edo and Cross River states.

Addressing a press conference on the state of Bauchi at the NUJ Secretariat Thursday, the former minister carpatted Governor Bala Mohammed for accessing the loans without recourse to the Executive Council and the state Assembly.

He said, “Bauchi state is now the firth (5) indebted state in the country after Lagos, Kaduna, Edo and Cossriver States, ahead of Prosperous Kano State. The external debt of Bauchi stands at $172.76 million and domestic debt stands at N144.28bn.”

He explained that the poor governance in Bauchi has also resulted in disregard for public procurement act and process, and the diversion of local government council’s grants and failure to pay local government salaries.

Kirfi said that this was in addition to the governor assuming the role of sole approver and sales of government land and property in which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission made an impeccable swift to stop the activity.

Others, he said, included denting the public image of the state through incitement of falsified information, abusive and violent words to the public as leaders of the society. 

Muhammad Bello Kirfi also added to over budgeting projects and extending the cost of variations to double or triple the amount of the initial award sum, as well as lack of respect to public and traditional institutions, and threatening dethroning traditional rulers.

He drew the attention of Bauchi people that after consultations with leading statesmen and major stakeholders in the state, unanimously agreed that there ought to be change of leadership of the state.

“I wish to remind you that at this moment, Bauchi state needs a person with a vision, moral and discipline to govern as affirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the gubernatorial candidate of his choice ultimately urged them to vote for Ambassador Sadique Baba Abubakar.”

He further said, “We also have abundance of unexploited solid minerals and enormous land for agriculture. Utilization of such resources is needed to fund our own development, and unshackle the state and its economy from external and domestic debt acquired by the government to fund the development of road access, electricity, infrastructure, and health and education.

“Recently, some people in power thinking that they can do or undo what Allah SWT has bestowed upon his servants, have decided to abandon the unanimous decision taken by the good people of Bauchi State to make them representatives. 

“They have deviated from their responsibilities in areas of health and education, infrastructure, payment of salaries, pension, and gratuity, to pursue their own personal worldly desires at the expense of the Bauchi State and its people, which resulted to the breakdown of law and order, security breaches, and so on.”

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